Category Archives: Leh Ladakh
Ladakh is a barren high altitude desert in one of the most remote regions of India. The beauty of its barren and rugged landscape, unique flora and fauna and culture have much more to offer than just a good holiday. Our Trans Himalayan Jeep Safari takes you from Manali to Ladakh through some of the highest motorable roads in the world as we visit breathtakingly beautiful places like Leh,Sarchu,Pangong Lake,Nubra Valley etc.
We did an amazing trip of Greater Himalayas crossing 7 Worlds highest motorable road and did some crazy adventures, all thanks to Ladakh tour organised by Renok Adventures – the great adventure company. We all reached Manali on 16th July morning the date to begin the Jeep Expedition. We had a breakfast n got fresh in hotel. We loaded our luggage in our jeep Qualis, our driver Mr. Tule Ram is an awesome driver this was my second trip and I can trust him with my life on curvaceous and tricky mountain roads.
In the first part I will be covering our adventurous journey from Manali to Leh and in Second part our excursion to Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley
We started around 11 and our first big stop was Marhi where we did first adventures activities Paragliding.
Marhi is a small stopover on the way to Rohtang Pass (14000 Ft), We negotiated a deal for 7 of us to do Paragliding. Yugantar had a small misadventure, his take off was not proper so he slid with the parachute for some distance. He had small bruises on hand and leg.
After doing paragliding we set cross Rohtang Pass our first high altitude pass. There was 8 to 11 ft of snow on both side of the road. Rishin was fully charged up at this point of time he didn’t know what is coming in next few days.
After fun n masti at Rohtang top we started again and stopped at Khoksar for Lunch. We had awesome Rajma, Dal, Mutton and Rice. Kokhsar is the first village on this route in Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. Here one need to stop to get police work done. Our plan was to stay at Sarchu but we got late so we will be staying in Keylong today. Our driver paid the homage to Raja Ghaipan at Sissu and we filled diesel in Tandi which is the last Petrol Pump on this route and sign clearly says next petrol pump 365 KM ahead.
We stayed in a hotel with nice view had sumptuous dinner and slept. Morning the view was amazing.
Morning we started early around 6 AM after a good tea and stopped at Darcha for breakfast. Today was the toughest day of the entire journey, four of the world’s highest passes, 350 KMs and road conditions (You can say No Roads) were bad.
First pass came Baralacha La at the height of 4980 metres. The steep ascent to Baralacha La start at the place called ZingZingBar, One who loves to drink barely misses it and there is a bar by the same name in Manali. This pass connects the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to that of Ladakh. The Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chandrabhaga or Chenab river, originates from Surya taal lake, which is situated a few of kilometers from the pass towards Manali. The other major tributary of the Chandrabhaga, the Chandra also originates from glacier in this region. Both the rivers originates from the two sides of the pass and meet to become Chandrabhaga River and the same river becomes Chenab entering Pakistan.
To be continued in part 2
More Photos on Facebook Album here:
Green Hiker tips
- Hike in a single file in the middle of the track to avoid further erosion.
- Keep noise levels low, especially when traveling through a forest
- Minimise the use of automobiles wherever possible
- Choose a homestay or a community-run camping site wherever possible
- Set camp 30m away from lakes and streams
- Set up a temporary dustbin to dispose of waste by all campers. Make sure to carry it away
- Never leave a fire unattended this will rule out chances of a devastating forest fire
- Minimize the use of growing vegetation as firewood. Opt for kerosene or fuel efficient stoves
- Avoid burning plastic or other toxic substances
- Carry food that cooks faster and more easily, to reduce fuel consumption
- A small solar cooker will serve the purpose keeping the environs clean too
- Never discard rubbish into water bodies.
- For washing, carry water 30 m away from the lake
- Use biodegradable organic soaps for washing and cleaning. These will minimize water pollution
- Do not feed wild animals since human food may be damaging to them
- Avoid flash photography. Take pictures from a distance
- Observe wildlife from a distance, especially at sensitive times like mating, nesting and raising young
- Never leave behind litter while hiking or camping. Stuff the rubbish into your pocket/backpack/garbage bag to take back with you
- Try and sort your garbage into biodegradable and non-biodegradable at the base camp itself. Ensure that the mouths of the bags are tightly fastened. This will prevent the contents from scattering and emitting foul odour
- Use toilet facilities and where not available, dispose of solid human waste like this – Dig a 15cm hole in the ground, more than 30m away from the lake, campsite and track. Cover it up with soil when finished
- Opt for light, unbreakable utensils instead of plastic or Styrofoam
- Respect the local people, culture and customs
- Get local guides or choose homestays so that the economic benefits remain in the region
- Help your guides/porters to follow the rules as well. They will then be mindful of them in the future
When we were on our way back from Ladakh after Stok Kangri’s successful summit, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and this beautiful old woman was the owner. She reminds me of Mother Teresa although I have never seen her. After our lunch we sat with her for almost half an hour and had discussion about her looks, family and when we were leaving asked to pose for this photograph.
The eagerly anticipated second edition of Mahindra Adventure will take place in June 2012
India’s leading SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra’s second season of Mahindra Adventure will be held in June. This series that showcases the off-roading potential of Mahindra vehicles includes categories like Great Escape, challenges, Monastery Escape, Royal New Year Escape, besides three new adventures, viz, the 14-day Tri-Nation Escape that traverses Bhutan, India and Nepal, and the six-day Authentic Goa Escape and Wildlife Escape. Primarily designed for Mahindra vehicle owners, those who do not own one can also participate by paying a nominal fee.
The Great Escape participants can participate in an ‘Off-Roading Trophy’ later in the year.
“After the successful run of Mahindra Adventure Season 1, we are all geared to unveil the new season that promises even more thrills for the adventure seeker. The ‘Off-roading Trophy’ and international events make season 2 even more exciting and will go a long way in showcasing the tough and rugged capability of our range of vehicles,” said Vivek Nayer, Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Mahindra Adventure has also featured in the motorsport arena. After roping in drivers Gaurav Gill and Lohitt Urs, it has also got 2012 Dakshin Dare Rally winner Sunny Sidhu on board. The team will compete in India’s most popular motorsport events including Mughal Rally, Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm.
The company also unveiled ‘Get Lost’, India’s first online adventure magazine.
|July||Monsoon Challenge||South to West||July 19 – July 22|
|July – August||Monastery Escape Classic||North||July 26 – August 5|
North to East
|Sept 7 – Sept 9
Sept 15 – Sept 29
|November||Wild Escape||Central||Nov 16 – Nov 21|
|December – January||Royal Escape Classic||North||Dec 27 – Jan 1|
Great Escape Calendar
|June||Kottayam – GE 90||South||June 23|
|July||Mumbai – GE 91||West||July 7|
|August||Goa – GE 92
Chandigarh – GE 93
Saklespur – GE 94
|October||Kohima – GE 95||East||October 20|
|November||Jaipur – GE 96||North||November 24|
|December||Off Road Championship||Mumbai||December 7 to December 9|
|January||Kolkatta Challenge – GE 97
Hyderabad Challenge – GE 98
|February||Coimbatore Challenge – GE 99||South||February 3|
Ladakh a barren, virtually rainless area is the most remote region of India. The defiance of its barren landscape, unique flora and fauna, birds, culture, clear blue skies and clean air has much more to offer than just a good holiday. Ladakh is also known as “The Moonland” and romantically as “the last Shangri La” where as Ladakh in Tibetan language means “The Land of Passes”.
Ladakh is surrounded by world’s biggest mountain ranges, the Himalayan range and the Karakoram. These lay crossways two others Zanskar and Ladakh range. The main watercourse of Ladakh is Indus which penetrates India from Tibet at Demchok. The highest altitude you will find here is 7637 m. At this height, the air is thin and the heat of the sun is intensely felt. That is why it is said Ladakh is the only place on earth where you can get sunburn as well as frostbite at the same time.
Ladakh has a distinct alpine, floral and faunal variety. Several flowering plants, a dozen important mammals and over a hundred species of birds are found here in this rugged terrain. You are likely to spot marmots, mouse hares, stone martens, red foxes, wolves, ibex, bharal, chiru (Tibetan antelope famous for Shahtoosh), goa (Tibetan gazelle), lynx, pallas cat, kyamg and shapu.
The avid bird watcher can spend fruitful hours by observing Bactrian magpies, grey tits, chough, raven, sparrow, kite, kestrel, Turkoman rock pigeon, chukor, finches, buntings, larks, desert wheat eaters, a many more varieties of birds. Black necked crane, bar-headed geese, ducks and several other water birds breed near the lakes in thousands. The highest realm belongs to the birds of prey and carrion eaters. These include choughs, griffon vultures, ravens and lammergeiers (bearded vultures).
During the safari we cross through two famous high altitude passes i.e. Baralacha and Tag Lang La, which is also the second highest motorable road in the world. Crossing through various tiny villages and monasteries we stop at a few and explore. We visit the famous Tsokar lake which is also known as the “White Lake” because of the salt deposited around it. The local nomads collect this salt and sell it in Ladakh and Kashmir.
What’s Included :-
- Accommodation in Ladakhi Family guest houses and tented or camping during stay in Nubra or PangongTso.
- Meals during the Safari (Only Veg).
- First aid medical kits .
- Qualified and experienced trek leader, Guide and support staff during trekking
Day 1 Manali to Sarchu
Today we start our journey to Leh stopping at Sarchu for a night. We cross Rohtang Pass (3978 m), Keylong (3350 m), Baralacha Pass (4890m) with overnight stopover at Sarchu (4253 m), border of the states of Himachal Pradesh (Lahaul) and Jammu & Kashmir (Ladakh). Photography workshop “Stop Shooting Auto” on basics of photography and how to do photography in high altitude areas. Upon arrival in Sarchu we will set up our camp for overnight stay.
Days 2 Sarchu to Leh
Leave for Leh by early morning, through Nakeela and Lachangla Pass 16,617 ft. Lunch at Pang. After Lunch drive to Leh passing through Skyangchu Thang (Biggest and Highest Plateau on Earth on Stretch of 42 Kms), Tanglang La Pass 17,585ft and Indus Valley. Upon arrival in leh you will be greeted by our CEOs (chief Experience Officers) meet our representative and check in at our Hotel.
Day 3 Leh to Pangong Lake
After an early breakfast we leave for Pangong Lake through Changla pass 5486 Mtrs. Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet (4,267 m). A long narrow basin of inland drainage, hardly six to seven kilometer at its widest point and over 130km long, it is bisected by the international border between India and China. Enjoy the landscape in the back drop of the Lake. Evening at leisure and overnight stay on the shore of Lake.
Day 4 Pangong Lake to Leh
Morning at leisure to explore the beauty of lake and later we drive back to leh enroute visiting Hemis Gompa, the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, Thiksey an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village, Shey Palace, The ancient capital of Ladakh & Stok Palace Museum. Drive further to Leh and check in at our hotel for Overnight.
Days 5 Drive to Nubra Valley
After an early breakfast we drive to Nubra Valley leads through Khardungla- Pass (the highest motorable road in the world) at 18,390 ft, around 39kms from Leh. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldorma or the valley of flowers. It is situated to the North of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. Arrive Sumur or Hunder by afternoon and rest of the day at leisure to explore beautiful village of Sumur & Hunder with a Visit to Diskit Monastery. Overnight stay at Camp.
Day 6 Nubra Valley – Leh
After your breakfast at the camp, visit the Sand Dunes to enjoy a camel safari. Later we drive to Leh over Khardung La. Afternoon rest and relax or take a walk to the local market. Overnight at hotel..
Day 7 Leh
Post breakfast we drive towards Kargil road and start our sightseeing with Hall of Fame near Leh is worth a visit for every citizen. It is a glorious museum constructed by Indian army, Kali Mata Temple, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib Nestled deep in the Himalayas, which was built by the Lamas of Leh in 1517 to commemorate the visit of Guru Nanak Dev. A drive of another 4 km took us to Magnetic Hill which defies the law of gravity. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up & further Driving through a picturesque landscape we reached the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar River 4 km before Nimmu village. And Visit to Basgo a certainly the most impressive of Ladakhi citadels despite its ruined state. After visiting above places we drive back to Hotel for Overnight Stay.
Day 8 Leh Depart Leh
Transfer to domestic airport to catch the flight for your onward destination, safari concludes.